All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Beast by J.R. Ward

on July 19, 2017

The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14)
J.R. Ward
New American Library
2016, 508p
Read from my local library

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from… 

To be honest, I mostly just read these here and there for the laughs now. But I do prefer the “original gangster” Brotherhood – Wrath, Rhage, Zsadist, Phury (although not really), Vishous. And those names look even more ridiculous when you type them all out like that. And they’re just the tip of the weird name ice berg.

Rhage found his shellan in Mary in the second book. Mary is a human but the Scribe Virgin kindly fixed it so they can be together forever, although they will never be able to have children (young, as the vampires call them) of their own. A bit of time has passed since their book and both Rhage and Mary feel that there are some troubles in their relationship. They still love each other but they don’t feel as connected, as though they’re on the same page as before. With several young being born into the household in recent times (Wrath and Beth, Zsadist and Bella) and Layla the Chosen pregnant with twins, the issue of them never having their own young has reared its head and Rhage in particular is thinking about it.

I’ve dropped off these in recent years – I read The King which was about Wrath and Beth. That was book 12 and I read it three years ago. The rage around book 13 meant I stayed away but I saw this at my local library the other day when I took my kids to pick out a book each and thought I might as well get it and see what was happening. Rhage and Mary aren’t really one of my favourite couples but I also liked them a lot more than a lot of the others and I’m a sucker for an update. This book though, it’s a bit of a hot mess. Actually this entire series is a hot mess these days.

There’s just so much going on. Apart from Rhage and Mary, there’s also Vishous having some sort of personal crisis and eventually pondering whether he might one day want to be a father himself, a bunch of text devoted to Assail the vampire coke addict and something gruesome he uncovers, Layla trying to gestate her twins and some character I’ve never seen before named Jo who is a real estate agent? receptionist? who investigates reportings of vampires, mostly by drugged out youtubers. And yet this book is 500+ pages and I read it in a couple of hours. I have to admit I skimmed a few pages here and there mostly ones that involved Lassiter because he is really annoying.

Because I didn’t read The Shadows I had no idea who Bitty was but it didn’t really matter, just understand that she is the Perfect Answer to the question posed in this book. She was okay as a character, weirdly precocious in the way of book children, who talk and act way above their years but also possess a childlike innocence, etc. I just feel like this book really scraped the barrel for conflict between the couples. Rhage does something unbelievably stupid, Mary somehow miraculously manages to fix it, they finally have a conversation or two and basically everything is then fine. I’m not even sure how this got a full length book but Zsadist and Bella only got a novella as their “second book/update book”.

God help me though, I remember Layla and Xcor’s story from The King and I didn’t mind it. It continued on in this book although they don’t even have a scene together in the entire thing and….I think I like it? Enough to want to read the next book which is The Chosen about Layla and Xcor and apparently it’s already out. So I guess I’ll be going back to the library at some stage. It’s like there’s always something that keeps me coming back, whether it be an update book or enough of an interest in a part of the story to get the next book. I don’t know why, because I find the writing quite abrasive, the vernacular/slang just hard to read at times.

An average read but somehow I’m still sucked into this series.

5/10

Book #122 of 2017

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